Saturday, September 25, 2010

In a Nutshell

If anyone's lurking out there and actually watching this blog, I apologize for the lengthy pause. I've been working and gaming, but I have spent quite a bit of time typing out my 2001-2002 journal, so I haven't been completely idle. I believe I have said this before, but laminators are no fun when they mess up. My school's laminator went totally doo-lally the other day, which caused me no end of stress. That plastic is damn expensive, as I was (needlessly) reminded of the day that tempestuous beast went cuckoo. Not a lot of fun was had by me. Anyway, the beast seems to be doing all right, provided I keep an extra-close eye on it. On the good side, I've met most of the new kids coming from the early years schools and I met with the EBSCOhost rep for all of Canada. He showed me a few really awesome things that I can use to get the staff interested enough to use EBSCOhost. We have this pretty sweet service - better off using it! Yesterday afternoon we had another meeting to further discuss EBSCO, among other things. Good times.
Meanwhile, I have been gaming and working on past diaries when I'm not at work. Sims 3 fouled up my computer last night, which didn't please me mightily. Diablo II has never given me any grief. I won't take up any space here talking about this very good game, since others have taken up enough space already, and have said things better than I could. I'm also following a "Let's Play..." deal on Youtube for anyone who might be interested in my anti-social life. I like the dude's running commentary (and his voluminous curses when his character gets killed off). Lots of awesome people out there, to be sure.
I have also been reading quite a bit, but it's all been Fantasy of late, so I don't have anything really deep or insightful to share based on my reading. That said, Dave Duncan's 'Man of his word' series is most excellent. Deep and fascinating, with complex characters and a nice plot. I couldn't ask for much more with this series. Kudos, Mr. Duncan! I'll revisit this series in a year's time and see what new thoughts I glean from it. With the last of this series behind me, I'm starting back into Dylan Thomas with "The return of the native". I'm kinda getting into a hodge-podge of different books now, which will make a nice change from the vast tide of Fantasy. Well, would I had more to say, but I don't, so I'm done for now. BYE.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Work and play

Strange as it might seem, September is closing in on its halfway mark. Could the time go any faster? Meanwhile, I've done a lot of reading over the last few days. I started reading Dave Duncan's 'Great Game' series, I finished reading 'Jude the Obscure' (heart-rendingly sad at the end) and I'm reading more Atwood. Her book 'Survival', which is an eye-opener. Is Canada truly a nation of victims? That's what Atwood seems to suggest. Victims of nature, of each other, and of the world beyond our victimized borders. She found a quote that really impressed me, however. "It is meaningless to call anyone a foreigner in this country. We are all foreigners here." (J. Marlyn). R.E.M. paraphrased this quote rather nicely with their line "Everybody here comes from somewhere." Yeah, this probably wasn't what they were talking about at all, but it makes for a good connection. Canada, from its earliest Aborigninal peoples to the newest refugee seeking a safer life, is a nation of immigrants and foreigners. That is a fact. It would be better not to point fingers at each other and say 'Go back to where you came from!' If we all did that, Canada would be empty before long.
On the work front, I visited a really awesome French bookstore in St. Boniface on Saturday. Came back with half a dozen catalogues full of books from Quebec and France. A nice haul. I've already started work on a spreadsheet of books I want to buy from these catalogues. One drawback about getting books from France is that the prices are in euros. The guy suggested that the euro is like the pound (twice the amount in dollars). I just have to send him the list and the prices in euros and he'll tell me what the price is in dollars. All part of a rather busy weekend. Now I'm back to work and the classes are starting to come for library. I'm excited and hoping the books I ordered in June come in soon so I can get them on the shelves. I'm going to order as many French books as possible so I can get weeding and knocking that collection into order. And that's the plan on the work front.
Time I got back to 'Survival'. BYE.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer scribbles

Not a whole lot of writing this summer, since the Muse and I aren't getting along that well. More reading, revisiting, and transcribing than anything else. Visiting 2001 and recalling books I read during that time. I have not yet reached September, though it is certainly coming. Journal #5 runs from Feb. 2001 to May 2002, and I'm working on July 2001 right now. I was 21 in 2001 and by then I had formed much of the outlook and beliefs that I have now. Nothing has really disturbed my beliefs to the point that I would want to junk them and seek something else. If anything, I'd suggest that my beliefs lean to a more Easterly direction than they did when I was in my 20s. When I was typing out my entries from my adolescence, my diatribes and outright rages would cause me to shake my head. Now I'm shaking my head again at how ignorant I was about other people when I was 21. I clearly showed, several times so far, that while I wanted freedom and independance (wanted to move out), I did very little to accomplish my goal. Small wonder I did not get anywhere in those days.
On the other hand, when a literary situation called for some research, I worked very hard on that. The project never went anywhere, which makes me wonder how much preparation and planning one should dedicate to a literary project. The matter is moot for now since the Muse and I aren't on pleasant terms. Besides, I've got many books I want to read and I'm back to work now, so any work on literary projects will not take much of the spotlight. Speaking of books, I just finished reading a very good book by Philippe Aries called "The Hour of our Death". A most comprehensive account of the history of death and many things relating to it. I read it back in the day (2001) and again recommend it. You don't have to be extremely morbid to like this book, either. Very graphic in some parts - nay, risque even, but that just adds to it wonderfully. Macabre stuff!
Anyway, I'm starting into "Mayor of Casterbridge" by T. Hardy. Soon I'll get into "Jude the Obscure", which I remember liking. That's all for now. BYE.